- Congressman wants to make life difficult for more people.
- Amendment does nothing but harm.
- Legal protections abroad are as suspect as they are in the U.S.
International Megan’s Law already puts American registrants traveling abroad at risk of being detained by security forces in other countries, at risk of being exposed as a registrant in countries where legal protections may be minimal.
Now the congressman responsible for IML wants to amend it to make life difficult for more people, including some Americans who live abroad.
Tucked away in the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2021 (H.R. 5150), you will find an amendment to International Megan’s Law (IML). The 2016 IML set the requirement that some passport-holders on the sex offense registry must have an indicator in their passport showing that they are registrants and that they offended against a minor.
Current IML makes sure that the United States does what it can to throw unfounded suspicion upon its own citizens — suspicion of future crimes — as they travel to countries where that suspicion could put them in harm’s way. This amendment will make sure that Americans who live in other countries where they are not required to register will be treated with that same suspicion; it will also collect names of citizens of other countries who have been convicted of sex offenses against minors.
Like the registry itself, which treats registrants as if they are ticking time bombs destined to commit more sex crimes, IML treats all registrants convicted of offenses against minors as if they are using travel to find more victims. That imagined danger puts Americans traveling abroad at risk of discrimination and violence when their passport makes known their history of a sex offense, and puts them at risk in a country where they may not have legal protections they would have in the United States.
Read more here.